A century in crisis: modernity and tradition in the art of twentieth-century China

Front Cover
Guggenheim Museum, 1998 - Art - 329 pages
0 Reviews
Between 1850 and today, China has undergone an unprecedented series of shocks and transformations. This dramatic period -- which has seen urban industrialization, conquest by foreign powers, civil wars, changing governments, and, more recently, a gradual opening to the international community -- has also marked an explosion of artistic experimentation and innovation. Spanning 150 spectacular years of artistic production, A Century in Crisis -- which accompanied a landmark exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo in early 1998 -- offers the first systematic exploration of modern and contemporary Chinese art.

Essays by leading scholars show the ways in which Chinese artists have grappled with modernity, tradition, self-definition, and the adoption and rejection of Western conventions. Sumptuous colorplates showcase a dazzling array of achievements -- including Shanghai School paintings, modern calligraphy, commercial art, 1920s and '30s woodblock prints, modern guohua (traditional ink and color paintings), socialist realist paintings, and other contemporary works.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Tradition and Modernity in
Chinas Modern Worlds

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Julia F. Andrews is Assistant Professor of Art History, Ohio State University.

Shen is Presidential Fellow at Ohio State University.

Jonathan D. Spence was born in England and received his B.A. from Cambridge University. In 1966 he received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has been a professor of Chinese history there since that time. Spence has won a variety of major fellowships and has served as visiting professor at Belfast's Queens University, Princeton University, and Beijing University. He employs a distinctive writing and historical style, weaving together various kinds of materials to fashion new forms of historical narrative. The best examples of his unique style are The Death of Woman Wang (1979) and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. In his works, Spence provides a uniquely accessible vision of late imperial China. His writings have won numerous awards and prizes. The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1982) won two awards---the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Henry D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters.

Bibliographic information